Corporate governance is not just the concern of healthcare practice owners and directors. All staff in the organisation need to understand their role in its governance, to play their part in creating a safer, compliant and successful practice.
What is corporate governance?
It’s a system by which businesses are controlled and includes all the influences affecting the operations of a business, such as strategy, policies, processes and people.
Good corporate governance starts with the big picture, a clear organisational strategy: your business vision, mission and values. On a day-to-day level, it includes your policies and procedures around effective risk management, discipline and commitment, fairness to employees and patients, transparency and information sharing, corporate social responsibility and regular self-evaluation.
The six pillars of corporate governance
These are six overarching principles to steer your business clear of financial, legal and ethical pitfalls:
- Rules of law
- Moral integrity
- Responsibility and accountability
- Effectiveness and efficiency
As a practice manager, you play an important role in instilling these six pillars, both at a business and clinical level. This can encompass responsibilities such as upholding the RACGP, NSQHS and Infection Control Standards. You also need to be across budgets and financial performance, as well as legislation like Fair Work, Awards, Work Health and Safety, Ahpra requirements and anti-discrimination.
It’s a lot to oversee! PracticeHub’s integrated practice management software makes managing these corporate governance responsibilities more efficient, as all your policies and procedures are stored in a central, online location, easily accessible to your team. You can directly link to relevant legislation, ensuring you stay current and compliant.
PracticeHub is particularly effective at enhancing the pillars of transparency, responsibility and accountability. With staff able to quickly access procedures around their assigned tasks, you know they’ll be done correctly each time. In PracticeHub, you can keep an audit trail of completed tasks, for peace of mind that nothing will slip through the cracks. And by requiring your team to sign off that they’ve read and understood your policies and procedures, you have evidence of compliance – which is especially important for practices undergoing accreditation.
PracticeHub also encourages participation from your team, who can make suggestions for improvements to your policies and procedures within the platform itself. You can respond to them directly, acknowledging their feedback – which gives further incentive to the entire team to participate.
Planning and performance
Planning is essential to good governance, and the overall success of your business objectives. It encompasses two main elements:
Strategic planning sets the focus for your organisation’s future activities, which then influences the development of other plans further down the organisation.
Operational planning focuses on your daily and monthly activities needed to achieve your strategic goals.
As a practice manager, you are actively engaged in ensuring these activities are performed, and performed well – which is done by measuring staff performance against a set of pre-determined key result areas (KRAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs). KRAs are defined objectives that are vital to the performance of an individual employee, a department, or an organization. A KPI is a quantifiable metric that helps assess whether an organization, department or employee is meeting certain objectives. KPIs are often the “proof points” associated with Key Result Areas.’
Using PracticeHub, you can set, monitor and measure your KPIs and KRAs through your documented policies and procedures. It’s also good governance to factor staff training and development into your planning and PracticeHub includes training modules on a broad range of practice procedure requirements. Again, you can monitor and measure staff training, demonstrating your ongoing commitment to enhancing the performance of practice teams.
Corporate governance also requires a framework around managing risk. In addition to the expected RACGP and NSQHS Standards, it’s worth assessing the systems you have in your practice to manage risk, and how robust they are.
In PracticeHub, you can document your risk management processes across the separate categories of business, clinical and safety risks. It allows you to keep track of what are you doing to minimise chance of risks reoccurring, or managing them so they don’t turn into incidents.
With its real-time information accessible to your whole practice team, PracticeHub gets everyone engaged in their role in the corporate governance of your healthcare organisation.
Discover how PracticeHub helps you plan and implement sound governance principles. Phone us on 1300 469 866 or book a meeting with one of our helpful consultants.
This article is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on its content, and practise proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this article must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2023.